Hello Gooners. Welcome to another edition of “Indian Gooners Speak Out”.
@amith1989 is a totally Crazy Arsenal fan working as a software engineer at Infosys Mangalore.
Gibran is from Mumbai, and will soon begin an MS, and been a Gooner for half a decade now.
@iamsleepysid is a friend/long lost relative of mine, who is also a Computer Engineer, Arsenalist, movies n music buff, traveller, foodie, unconventional thinker..
I am sorry, I have no idea what unconventional thinking he has done, but here we go!
1) When did you start supporting Arsenal? Which year was it?
@amith1989 - 2005. A cousin of mine got me crazy about football and Arsenal.
Gibran - 2006. My first game was in fact the last at Highbury.
@iamsleepysid - Actually i had a liking for Arsenal in the 03-04 season itself. They are the reason coz of which i started watchin football. began supportin em from 2007 onwards till date. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are my next favourites.
2) How old were you when you started supporting Arsenal?
@amith1989 - I was 16.
Gibran - 15.
@iamsleepysid - 19 yrs old
3) Did you start off by supporting one of the more popular clubs like Manchester United? Be honest.
@amith1989 - No ways. Its one and only Arsenal.
Gibran - No. Only the Red and White.
@iamsleepysid - Yes. started off with oops.. Chelsea..in 04-05 only!! hell i wuz gifted even a Chelsea jersey by a cousin..
4) What most do you like about Arsenal and why. And you can name only one thing.
@amith1989 - We don’t buy superstars. We create them.:)
Gibran - I love how every year critics and other fans write us off, and we make them eat their words. This gone season in particular, who’d have imagined we’d finish third back in January? Not even us! We were expected to finish below Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Newcastle, and we finished third. That’s the spirit of the club. Nothing better than that.
@iamsleepysid - Arsene Wenger and Thierry Henry.. forever legends
5) Thierry Henry or Dennis Berkgkamp? And why?
@amith1989 - Thierry Henry. The ball control he has is just awesome. He walks/runs with the ball with ease and gives nightmares to the defenders. A special mention: Just loved the goal on his 2nd debut against Leeds United too.
Gibran - Thierry Henry. Bergkamp would probably come second in my list of all time favorites, but Henry was just something else. Pace, power, finesse, you name it, he had it. And he always had a taste for the audacious. He wasn’t known as ‘King Henry’ for nothing.
@iamsleepysid - difficult to compare as both of em had CLASS written on them. but Henry edges Bergkamp in my list.
6) Your most joyous moment as a Gunner?
@amith1989 - Coming back from 2-0 down to defeat Spurs 5-2 at the emirates.
Gibran - When a certain Russian scored against Barcelona. ‘ARSHAVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN’.
@iamsleepysid - Arsenal 2 1 Barca, Arsenal 3 0 Milan(even though we lost the war at San Siro, we bowed out as heroes at Emirates) plus any victory vs ManUtd.
7) Your most disappointing moment as a Gunner?
@amith1989 - Carling cup final loss to Birmingham. So near yet so far.
Gibran - That infamous night at Old Trafford. It took me a few weeks to get over that one!
@iamsleepysid - Many. Top Three will be 8 2 vs United, 4 4 vs Newcastle and the Carling Cup final.
I remember watching the 4-4 draw at your freaking house!
8) Is Arsene Wenger still the man for the job at Arsenal? And why?
@amith1989 - Yes he is still the man. He is the best man for the job.
Gibran - No question about it. He changed the face of the Premiership, introduced a brand of football that was a delight to watch, and built a team that was the first to seriously threaten United’s dominance. All of this, on a shoe-string budget. He even turned down the chance to manage his own national team, which is such a big honor, just so he could stay on at Arsenal. Really, what else can be said about him?
@iamsleepysid - YES. Nobody can manage the club and keep em so competitive with a controlled budget.
9) If no, then who would you like to see at the helm and why?
@amith1989 - Cant think of anyone else other than Wenger.
@iamsleepysid - AW is the face of AFC. can’t imagine anybody else.
10) What would you opt for if you were the CEO of the club? The self sustainable model, which is at place, with moderate spending and sparse silverware, or the ‘Petrocash’, which is being used by Chelsea and Manchester City to win trophies at will?
@amith1989 - You dont need big spending always to win trophies. The ability to retain our top performers and few good signings would do it for us.
Gibran - Take a semi-Petrocash route first, no total revamp, just a few top class signings to build on what is already there. Get some silverware, get the monkey off the squad’s back. First one is always the hardest. Once the squad has the confidence, slowly phase in the youngsters, they’ll in-turn learn from the first-team players.
@iamsleepysid - Try to win a trophy and then go for a self sustainable model.
11) A one line message for Robin van Persie, who looks set to leave. And this could also be a message for Fabregas, Nasri, Clichy, Adebayor etc.
@amith1989 - ”Well RVP, you are leaving us at a phase when Arsenal needed you the most. Everyone knows you can never get the fame, playing time, fan following anywhere else other than Arsenal.” Really breaks my heart to see him leave.
Gibran - The feeling of wearing the Cannon on your chest cannot be replaced by anything else. You’ll be sorry.
@iamsleepysid - Club is always bigger than a player!!!
12) Who would you like to see as Arsenal’s captain next season? And why?
@amith1989 - Undoubtedly the Verminator Vermaelen. He’s got class.
Gibran - Thomas Vermaelen. High-time we gave the armband to our best leader, not our best player. He has a dominating presence about him and plays a big part in organizing the backline, no one better to make skipper.
@iamsleepysid - Verminator. nuff said
13) Any specific signings you would like to see at the club?
@amith1989 - Really wanted to see Eden Hazard or Mario Gotze play at Arsenal.:( But it is not possible for the moment.:(
Gibran - Not really. Arsene knows. I don’t.
@iamsleepysid - A star CAM or someone like M’Villa.
14) Realistically, what are your aspirations for next season?
@amith1989 - Automatic qualification for CL and atleast one trophy.
Gibran - Top four and the FA/Capital One Cup. Won’t be tough to achieve, and aiming for anything less will be a lack of an ambition.
@iamsleepysid - Nothing less than a Trophy(anyone) plus an automatic spot for UCL.
15) One thing that you would like to change at Arsenal?
@amith1989 - Nothing
Gibran - The Board. They’re priority has become money, money, money. They forget that this is a football club first and foremost, not a Multinational Corporation to mint money. Football first, money second.
@iamsleepysid - Don’t be too nice to players and cultivate loyalty and togetherness. Participation is the key to Success.
16) Your favorite player at the club right now? And why
@amith1989 - After RVP, its Jack Wilshere.- The class he has and also for the passion he has for the club.
Gibran - I’m tempted to say RVP, but following the recent transfer saga, I doubt I can call him that anymore. It would be Mikel Arteta. He keeps his game simple, maintains the tempo, and has a mean free kick in his locker. Isn’t shy to get stuck in either. Love that about him.
@iamsleepysid - Mikel Arteta. Unsung hero and the next world class player to emerge in future.
17) One player, past or present, you think you would have done better than?
@amith1989 - I do play football with my office colleagues and to be honest, I can definitely defend better than Sebastian Squillaci.
Well, if playing with software engineers and professional footballers was the same
Gibran - Abou Diaby. Not that I’m good enough to get into the first team (not even the reserves) but atleast I’d keep the club’s medical expenses to a minimum.
@iamsleepysid - Nicklas Bendtner’s gaffe’s at Nou Camp and Anfield.
I don’t know what he’s talking about here, probably some unconventional thinking, but I think he meant to say Niklas Bendtner.
18) Your favorite Arsenal goal?
@amith1989 - Henry’s curler against United, RVPs volleys against Everton and Liverpool.
Gibran - So many to chose from! But something more recent, Henry v Leeds, his first goal on his return. I ended up fist-pumping on my knees with tears streaming down my eyes. Such a beautiful feeling that was.
@iamsleepysid - Many. Henry’s long ranger vs United, Arshavin vs Barca, Arshavin vs Liverpool(4-4), Arteta vs Man City, Walcott vs QPR and Fabregas solo vs Spurs and for emotional reasons Henry’s goals vs Leeds and Sunderland last season.
19) Arrange in ascending order of hate..Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Tottenham, Stoke City? Any other, please mention.
@amith1989 - 7) Stoke City, 6) Barcelona, 5) Liverpool, 4) Chelsea, 3) Manchester City, 2) Manchester United, 1) Tottenham.
Gibran - 6) Barcelona, 5) Liverpool, 4)Stoke City, 3) Chelsea,2) Man City, 1)Man United/Spurs.
@iamsleepysid - 1)ManUtd==Spurs 2)ManCity 3)Chelsea 4)Barca 5)Liverpool 6)Stoke
20) Arsenal to win the Champions League before you die or a one night stand with the girl of your fantasy? Be honest!
@amith1989 - Definitely Arsenal to win CL.
Gibran - Champions League. Anyday!
@iamsleepysid - Arsenal winning UCL. fantasies can wait
If you missed the earlier editions of the “Indian Gooners Speak Out” series, follow the links below. I hope you enjoyed reading! Will be back with more parts soon! Hang around!
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Go ahead you lazy bum, that’s all I ask of you!